Devastating Crowborough fire was caused by heater fault

Fire service

Fire service

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Crowborough residents are being warned against drying clothes on heaters, following a fire which left a property devastated.

The fire investigation into the incident on January 5 at Rannoch Road found that a fault occurred with a portable, oil-filled electric heater, which set fire to the clothes.

Firefighters are now going house to house in the area, sharing safety advice with homeowners to prevent a repeat of the incident.

The fire broke out in the hall of the house and the elderly householder managed to get out but was said to be devastated she was unable to rescue her two pet dogs, which were unaccounted for.

Station manager Pup Upton said: “This was a very serious fire.

“It has destroyed a home, causing great distress for the lady who lived there and has also had a knock-on effect on her neighbours.

“We want people to know how to keep themselves safe and reduce the risks of fire in their homes.

“Simple changes can make a real difference.

“We would also like to remind people the importance of ensuring that all portable electrical devices are subject to regular maintenance and servicing, as per manufacturer’s instructions.

“Importantly, if the smoke alarm sounds get out of the house, stay out and call 999.

“Also, remember if an electrical appliance catches fire, don’t throw water on it but if it is safe to do so, you may be able to put out the fire immediately by either pulling the appliance’s plug out or switching off the power at the fuse box.

“If possible, please close the door behind you, if safe to do so, as this will reduce the spread of fire through the property.

“Working smoke alarms do save lives and you are at least four times as likely to die in a fire at home, if you haven’t got a working smoke alarm.

“A smoke alarm is the easiest way to alert you to the danger of fire, giving you time to escape.

“They are cheap, easy to get hold of and easy to fit.”